My favorite kind of dishes have always been one pot meals cooked low and slow.
This is especially true during the winter time when simmering pots on the back burner fill my home with the aroma of humble ingredients softening to a delicate bite. As a young girl, heck… even today, cleaning my plate to a brilliant shine by mopping up the juices of a good braise, soup, or stew with thick crusty bread is my favorite part about a one pot meal.
To me, it’s liquid gold.
Rich and savory it speaks of every ingredient that it held and simmered for hours and contains every nutrient released during that time.
Yes, liquid gold in pleasure and nourishment.
One pot meals not only bring joy and health but are economical as well. It’s no wonder that in its tradition, one pot meals were essential amongst those living without.
This one pot meal is a Tuscan bean soup and the first meal to be included in my new Nourishing Menu Plan on a Budget.
It’s made with dried great northern white beans, carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. Simple and light, the flavors are heightened when accompanied by fried garlic bread layered underneath the soup. It’s definitely optional, but I wouldn’t skip it.
To help those of us on a busy schedule during the week, this Tuscan bean soup is made in the slow cooker with about 10 minutes of finishing touches on the stovetop.
It has all the flavors of a soup cooked slow on a back burner yet is made in a simple way that it can be enjoyed during a busy midweek schedule.
Tuscan kale and white bean soup is made with dried great northern white beans, carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions. Simple and light, the flavors are heightened when accompanied by fried garlic bread layered underneath the soup.
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups, dried, great northern white beans, soaked for two nights
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 1/2 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp onion salt by Real Salt (sub plain salt)
- 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large handfuls of kale
- 4 cloves garlic
- bean puree (in recipe below)
- 1 tsp onion salt by Real Salt (sub plain salt)
- Soak your beans, preferably for two nights, rinsing and changing the water after each day. This will ensure that your beans become soft and tender.
- Drain and rinse your beans.
- In a large crockpot add the water, beans, carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Mix together well and cook on low for 8 hours.
- Once the beans and vegetables are soft and tender, remove one cup of beans and one cup of broth. Make sure to replace the lid on the crockpot.
- Puree the beans and broth in a blender or food processor.
- Once the beans and the broth have been pureed, heat 2 tbls extra virgin olive oil in heavy bottomed sauce pan or cast iron skillet. Add the kale and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until the kale begins to wilt and the garlic lets out its aroma. Add the bean puree and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the flavors begin to incorporate.
- Add the bean kale mixture back to the crock and mix through. This will add more flavor and depth to the soup. Allow to continue to cook in the crock, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
- To heighten the flavors of the soup, spread extra virgin olive oil on both sides of crusty bread.
- In a shallow frying pan or cast iron skillet heat an additional 1 tbls of extra virgin olive oil and add one clove of freshly minced or pressed garlic.
- Place the bread on top of the oil and garlic and allow to toast on both sides.
- To serve, place the bread on the bottom of a bowl, topped with the soup, and sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese.
Remember, registration for Spain in Iowa’s Traditional Menu Plan on a Budget opens tomorrow!
What is your favorite one pot meal?